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408

month and found, because hit was Indian country. Then we
seen some, one time. The nigger was down a little draw,
skinnen some buffalo Mingo shot, and French was at the
wagon, stretchen hides, and Mingo and me was move-en out
in the open. They come over a rise, between the draw and
the wagons and we seen 'em. We high-tailed fer home, and
beat 'em to the wagons, and started shooten. 'Whar's the
nigger?' Mingo said.

"' He ain't here,' French said.

"'God dammit/ Mingo said, layen thar shooten, 'that
black bastud lets 'em slip up and git him, and me with a
dislak fer skinnen lak I got. Hit's the thanks a man gits fer
fighten rebels four years to set a nigger free/

"We laid thar a-shooten at 'em all afternoon. French
loaden, and Mingo and me shooten. When they was a-way
off, we used our Sharp's, and when they come ride-en in clost,
we used our carbeen and Colt guns. A Spencer carbeen shoots
twelve times without stoppen, and heavy lead. Hit was that
a-way all afternoon, and hit was a clear night and they
couldn't git in clost and us not see. They tried hit but we
seen 'em ever time. They left a-fore day.

" Hit come day, an they was gone. They was some ponies
layen off here and yander, and close in, not more'n fifteen
paces, a Indian. I ne'er knowed one got that nigh, but night
time'll fool you. If'n we got airy other, they carried him off.
But this one was too clost. We walked out to whar he was
a-layen. ' Tryen to make a coup,' Mingo said, ' come-en in
clost, that a-way. Wanted to git to be a chief/ He was a
young Indian, and he was shot in the guts. ' The durn fool/
Mingo said. He poked him with his foot. ' Kiowa/ he said.
Then he squatted down and taken out his knife.

" ' What you aim to do?' I ast him.

" * Git me a scalp/ Mingo said.

" * He ain't Christian/ I said.

Hell/ he said, ' I knowed Christians as skinned Indians.
I knowed a feller made him a baccy sack outer a squaw's
bubby. But hit didn't do so good/ he said, and started